Nestled away in the remote quite town of Bomarzo, Italy is one rather unusual garden. Here, 57 miles from Rome, are a number of shrines and statues which have been built during the 16th century. All of these creations, were initiated by Pier Francesco ‘Vicino’ Orsini, who was a military leader and art patron.
This place is known as Sacro Bosco (Sacred Wood). People have been visiting this place for its rather atmospheric wonderment, which deeply haunts ones soul. There is no other place quite like it on Earth. The park is a blend between both mythology and fantasy.
Italy’s mysterious medieval garden of monsters, are made up from different characteristics. This includes the blending of both humans and animals together, and other mythological artworks—which have been brought to life by some way, shape or form.
This location is also known by another name “Park of the Monsters” (Parco dei Mostri in Italian) within the province of Viterbo, Italy. While Pier Francesco Orsini is most famous as the commissioner of this bizarre garden, he inherited the duchy of Bomarzo seven years after the death of his beloved father.
Later, he was taken prisoner during the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis. This ended the French-Spanish Wars in Italy. From this point in time, Orsini would later retire. He was determined to surround himself with as many writers and artists as he could, later devoting himself to a more Epicurean type of life. This left him shunning away any type of religious affairs and beliefs.
While Pier Francesco ‘Vicino’ Orsini was an interesting man, he also was madly in love with his wife Giulia Farnese who later died in 1560. This left him heartbroken and shattered his world of dreams. His restless spirit some have said, still lingers within the gardens often searching for his beloved wife.
Unlocking the mystery of the Gardens of Bomarzo is no easy task, as many have wondered about it for a number of years. The Villa of Wonders at the gardens include the following statues and monuments:
Sphinx and Gianus, The ‘Ninfeo’, The Orcus, Jupiter, Proteus Glaucus, Venus, The Dragon, Echidna and Furia, The Mausoleum, The Theatre, The elephant, Proserpina (Persefone), Herculus e Cacus, Hanging House, Ceres, The cerberes, Etruscan bench, Neptune, The temple, The Pegasus, The vase cantaro, The Nymph, The ‘rotonda’, and The Turtle and Whale.
After the death of his wife, he dedicated the park to her memory. Pier Francesco Orsini died on the 28 of January 1583.
The park is open all year long from 8.00 am. until sunset. Their website can be found HERE.